C-Suite Cooperation Lacking, Report Says
As businesses change at breakneck pace, many workforce challenges remain unaddressed, and C-suite cooperation is key to solving those problems. A recent Deloitte survey took a closer look at the issues.
In its 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report, “The Rise of the Social Enterprise,” Deloitte also examines the increasing expectations of the individual and the pace at which technology is shaping organizations’ human capital priorities.
“As society grapples with daunting demographic, technological and social challenges, people want business leaders to fill the gap, but our research shows they have a long way to go,” said Erica Volini, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. human capital leader. “This year’s report is a wakeup call for organizations to look beyond their own four walls and reimagine their broader roles in society. Integrating the C-suite to build a more social enterprise will be a differentiator for businesses to attract the right talent, drive customer loyalty and sustain long-term growth.”
More than 11,000 HR and business leader weighed in on this year’s Global Human Capital Trends Report. Respondents overwhelmingly point to the need for a team-based, cross-disciplinary approach to tackling complex issues in the C-suite, with 85 percent calling this trend important or very important. Survey results show companies where C-suite executives regularly collaborate are one-third more likely to be growing 10 percent more than than companies whose leadership operates in silos. Despite being necessary to advance the enterprise, 73 percent say their executives do not regularly collaborate.
Increased transparency and heightened political awareness have drawn widespread attention to business’ role in society as a driver of change. Organizations find they are increasingly expected to exercise their ability to do social good, both externally for customers, communities and society, as well as internally for their employees. True social enterprises must take a total stakeholder approach to pressing public issues to maintain reputation and relevancy.
With more pressure on businesses to be good citizens and engineer solutions to critical social challenges, citizenship must be a core part of an organization’s identity and mission. In fact, 77 percent of survey respondents cited citizenship as important or very important.
“Corporate citizenship is now a CEO-level strategy and critical to a company’s bottom line,” said Josh Bersin, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and founder and editor-in-chief of Bersin. “It’s not about check-the-box CSR initiatives, but integrating citizenship, fairness, inclusion and purpose as core values across work practices. Customers and employees alike are holding companies to higher standards than ever before and rewarding companies who demonstrate socially-conscious behavior with unwavering loyalty.”
Internal and external social forces are also driving attention to the aging global workforce. Extended life expectancies raise questions on how long careers will last and how aging workers will affect economies and public policy. Fifteen percent of survey respondents report that their organizational perspective is that older employees are getting in the way of rising talent. Despite the aging global workforce and the competitive advantages older talent offers, 49 percent of respondents indicate their companies have done nothing to help older workers find new careers as they age, and another 15 percent say older workers are viewed as an impediment to rising talent. However, the aging workforce remains an untapped resource of experience and knowledge for social enterprises to use to their advantage.
As constituencies look to how companies treat their own employees, tackling the alternative workforce takes center stage for socially-conscious organizations. By 2020, 37 percent of organizations expect a growth in contractors, 23 percent in freelancers, and 13 percent in gig workers. Despite this anticipated growth, only 16 percent said they have an established set of policies and practices to manage this variety of worker types. It is critical to successfully implement hybrid workforce strategies because they can have a significant impact on an organization’s employment brand and external reputation.
In the past year, organizations have become laser-focused on how automation-induced job shifts will affect individuals. The Deloitte research shows that more than four in 10 companies believe automation will have a major impact on jobs, and 61 percent are now actively redesigning jobs around AI and robotics. Additionally, 72 percent of HR and business leaders rated the topic of AI as important or very important.
Against this backdrop, companies and individuals realize the traditional career model is becoming defunct. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed consider building new career models and skills as very important. More than 54 percent have no programs in place to build the skills of the future, and only 18 percent feel they give employees opportunities to develop themselves. Espousing their role as drivers of change in the social enterprise, companies need to work to develop and implement robust solutions to decrease the growing skills gaps.
In addition to investing in employees’ professional development, organizations must also rethink how they invest in their employees on a personal level. Forty-three percent of those surveyed say well-being reinforces their organization’s mission, 60 percent say it improves employee retention, and 61 percent say it improves productivity and bottom-line results. However, according to Bersin research, only 3 percent of companies think their reward offerings are very effective at motivating talent. In a new social enterprise, companies must explore more frequent rewards and other incentives like vacation time or student-loan forgiveness.
“Personalized incentives and well-being strategies are key differentiators in talent acquisition and retention, particularly in a tight labor market,” said Volini. “Once-a-year reviews and bonuses are table-stakes in today’s enterprises. Expanding rewards and well-being strategies is critical for the C-suite if they want to attract and retain the right individuals.”